As any pro athlete of fitness enthusiast will know; a thorough warm up and cool down is essential when exercising or competing in any sporting event. Whether you are simply going for a quick jog or an hour gym session or running an entire marathon; a warm up and cool down before and after are vital.
Warming up prior to exercise helps to prepare your body for the forthcoming exertion and the cool down period after your training session allows the body to wind down and return to a resting state. Choosing to skip either a proper warm up or cool down, or both can greatly increase your chances of damage and injury while you exercise, especially a muscle injury. And injuries can mean significant time out – a potential disaster for the professional but a risk that can be reduced by rolling.
Warming up with a foam roller
Getting into the habit of a really good warm up routine helps to reduce the chance of you pulling, straining or tearing a muscle during exercise. Getting that blood flowing to the muscles and gently stretches gets everything in them good shape for the imminent strenuous use. Using a foam roller during your warm up is hugely beneficial as it will help the muscles to relax and is far more effective than any regular stretching routine. Foam rollers are a form of self-massage and this process of kneading the muscle and tissue surrounding it improves elasticity. Giving your performance that vital boost.
Cooling down with a foam roller
Cooling down post-workout is something many people forget to do, having had their workout but it is an important part of your holistic exercise and work-out regime. And one that everyone should incorporate no matter what level of fitness they are. Cooling down after exercise helps to prevent the build-up of lactic acid which is what causes those painful cramps. Rolling can also prevent tightness and soreness in the muscles as your body returns to a state of rest.
With the ability to improve muscle elasticity and tissue extensibility; foam rollers are ideal for use in a cool down programme. The massaging of muscle and tissue will enable the muscle to constrict back into place gently preventing the development of those nasty tight, painful pressure points. The gentle exercise required to use a foam roller will help heart rate return to normal and allow muscles to relax gently. This is all good news as all help in the prevention or reducing the risk of injury occurring.